Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship (HMCS) Chicoutimi (SSK 879)


The former HMS Upholder was laid up by the Royal Navy in June 1994, and accepted by Canada and named Chicoutimi in a ceremony in Faslane on 02 October 2004.  Sailing for Halifax on 04 October, while running on the surface in heavy seas northwest of Ireland on the 05th, Chicoutimi suffered a major electrical fire, resulting in total loss of power and propulsion, and the death of one crew member and injury of nine others.  An international rescue effort involving British, Irish and American naval and civilian vessels eventually rescued the crew and took the submarine under tow for return to Faslane on 10 October.  She later was transported to Canada on the submersible heavy lift ship Eide Transporter, arriving in Halifax on 01 February 2005.

Chicoutimi was not commissioned into the RCN, pending an assessment into the feasibility of repair.  The ship was placed in an Extended Limited Maintenance Period (ELMP) and in April 2006 it was announced that repairs would be deferred until her Extended Docking Work Period (EDWP), then anticipated to commence in 2010, as the first EDWP to be conducted by industry under the Victoria In-Service Support Contract (VISSC).  Chicoutimi was transported to the Canadian Submarine Maintenance Group (CSMG) facility in Esquimalt under the terms of the VISSC, on the submersible heavy lift ship Tern, arriving on 29 April 2009.  She entered her EDWP as predicted, in September 2010, and was undocked in November 2013.  Chicoutimi has commenced a tiered readiness program with the aim of having the submarine available for participation in a multi-national exercise planned for the fall of 2014.

Builder:                       Vickers, Barrow-in-Furness VSEL    

Laid Down:                  02/11/83

Launched:                   02/12/86

Commissioned RN:         09/06/90

Paid off RN:                 29/04/94

Commissioned RCN:       To be determined

Commanding Officers

LCDR               J.R.L. Pelletier                       01/07/00-28/04/03

LT(N)              P.E. Bryan (OIC)                    28/03/03-15/04/04

CDR                J.R.L. Pelletier                       15/04/04-15/06/05

Lt(N)               S.H. Darrigan (OIC)               15/06/05-01/03/07

LCDR               A.P.A. Kooiman (OIC)             01/03/07-09/02/09

Lt(N)               M.J. Folmer (OIC)                  09/02/09-23/07/10

LCDR               P.V. Sutherland (OIC)             23/07/10-19/05/11

LCDR               D.P. Murphy (OIC)                 19/05/11-03/09/12

LCDR               T.L. Markusson                      03/09/12-


The first ship in the RCN to bear the name Chicoutimi was a Flower-class corvette built at Canadian Vickers in Montreal as part of the 1939-40 program.  She was commissioned into the RCN on 12 May 1941, and spent most of the Second World War as a convoy escort on the North Atlantic.  She was paid off at Sorel QC in June 1945.

Battle Honours

The battle honours earned by HMS Upholder were not transferred from the Royal Navy.  Following RCN tradition, the battle honours earned by the first-of-name Chicoutimi have been perpetuated by the present ship of that name.  These honours would be perpetuated to any future ship of this name:

ATLANTIC, 1941-44